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Prize draw for March photo contest

Written by Nathan Foster on March 26th, 2012.      0 comments

Hello all. This months winner of our photo competition is Adam Faulkner from British Columbia Canada. Adam took a great deal of time taking photos for the data base in the .243 and .30 calibers. I am immensely grateful for this input. Adam has won a free MatchGrade bedding kit.

So here we go again.  In New Zealand, the roar/rut is upon us. Please keep your autopsy photo's coming for next months draw.

Cheers,  Nathan.


Free bedding compound

Written by Nathan Foster on February 19th, 2012.      0 comments

Send in your autopsy photo’s and be in to win a free MatchGrade bedding kit.
I am currently looking to build up the pictorial wound data base section of the website with donated photos of all calibers as used on medium to large game. The winner will be announced on approximately the 20th of each month.

Conditions of entry are that the photos supplied are freely given to TBR with the permission that these pictures may be also used in any future published works (such as books or magazines). 
Overseas winners will have to pay postage on kits.  Cost of air mail postage to Australia is NZ $12.00, postage cost via air mail to the rest of the world is NZ $33.00. As always, once you receive your kit, you will have my full follow up support to help you along through your project.

Please send your autopsy photo’s along with a description to [email protected]

For more information on MatchGrade bedding compound, click here

Adam 7mm Practical Howa WBY for web

February 2012 update

Written by Nathan Foster on February 8th, 2012.      0 comments

Hello all, I hope this blog finds you well.

Those of you who have been following the TBR blog will know that I was taken late ill last year. I am still recovering from this, progress is steady, just one step at a time. I have tentatively started gun work again within a limited capacity and will slowly start the hunts again as my hill fitness returns. Actually I am going to hit the hills this weekend as my first return foray.  I want to take this opportunity to thank readers, clients and friends for your support during this period, it has really helped Steph and I through.

OK, so whats new.  I have managed to upload a few more cartridge articles to the knowledge base these past weeks.  I was also approached by NZ Outddoor Magazine to write for them in December and the first article is out now in the Feb issue, a primer on long range hunting. Past clients will easily recognise the tone and direction of the wheat versus chaff (hunting kit) article, new readers I hope will find it a useful resource.  Between doing this work and the knowledge base, my inbox has been very busy from the tens of thousands of readers we now have visiting each month from around the world.  I have to admit, some days it has been a bit of a struggle to answer technical questions at a rate of one technical query coming in every 15-20 minutes.  But you know, I enjoy it, I like to hear what you are all doing, I enjoy meeting you all, friendships made, so many great people and the feedback is valuable as it solidifies the knowledge base.  Just remember to keep those digital camera's handy and to collect autopsy photos, they are a very helpful resource.

As for the rifles, oh my gosh.  Things aren't going too well out there guys so be careful when buying. Many manufacturers, whether European or U.S are taking some serious short cuts with action designs, trigger designs and barrel quality. Things aren't the same as they were a few years ago so be prepared. If your rifle is not up to task and where a warranty is absent, the rifle may very well need a trip to your local smith for re-working. Be patient and as always, I will do my best to help you all out.

Our little Riley is coming up 6 years old soon, she is a tall girl and thanks to the scope that has been taped on her plastic M92 lever action since she was 4, she can now steady the cross hairs on a target in a natural way.  So, its about time I got her an air rifle, possibly open sights and a scope so that she can learn both. But it won't be long before she will be ready for a .22 either. For the Kiwi's out there reading this, if any of you have such a rifle you want to part with, please let me know.  If I obtain a full length stocked rifle, I will be cutting the stock down to suit but it would be good to utilize a hand-me-down from another youth that has outgrown their air rifle or .22 (the old Toz!).   I am also on the look out for a cheap farm wagon (farm registration- will need lights and indicators going but no WOF), an old donk like a 4 door long wheel base Landcruiser or Safari/Patrol or perhaps a double cab 4x4. If anyone knows of anything sitting in a shed somewhere, please give me a call on 06-7523552 or email me at [email protected].

OK, thats about it for me. Again, thank you all for your support, I am really pleased everybody is enjoying the knowledge base, won't be long and we will finally be finished with the .30's and into the larger bores.

Cheers,  Nathan.


Rocky Mountain Bullets- Terminal Performance

Written by on July 29th, 2011.      0 comments

Hi Everyone, just a quick update to inform readers of the latest article, a field study of Rocky Mountain .338 caliber frangible long range hunting bullets. Please click here to be directed to the article.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank George Costello, owner of Rocky Mountain bullets, for putting his product on the line and allowing me to perform these tests.

One final reminder to Auckland (New Zealand) viewers, I will be in Auckland at Reloaders Supplies on the 10th of August (two weeks time) for an evening tutorial, discussing the fundamentals of long range hunting. Guy's, this service is for you, helping you get off to a good start towards long term enjoyment of your sport. Please make the most of it, I will be cramming in a great deal of information so don't expect to be bored.

Cheers,  Nathan.

Bedding tutorial videos now online

Written by Nathan Foster on April 7th, 2011.      0 comments

Hi everyone, I have finally got some instructional footage online, bedding a Remington Sendero 7mm Rem Mag with MatchGrade bedding compound.  Please click here to see these videos.

For those of you who have already seen the clips, the results of test shooting can be viewed below. Unfortunately I never had a fine day for test shooting, howling winds buffeting me at the bench everyday.   suffice to say, the client has an accurate rifle.

Bob Penters Sendero for blog.jpg

We are still hacking away at the website, editing articles to be gradually uploaded into the knowledge base.  The next two from myself will be the 7.5 Swiss and the mighty .30-06.  Steph has decided to work backwards towards me so from her, you will soon be seeing some of the big bores.

keep out of mischief.

Thanks,  Nathan.

TBR, Marching On

Written by Nathan Foster on February 17th, 2011.      0 comments

Hi everyone, I hope this blog finds you well. 

The TBR knowledge base has now been live for one month and I would like to say thanks to all of you who have sent in emails of support.  The one aspect of these emails that I am thrilled with, is that experienced hunters from around the world are able to correlate results.  This was so very important to me, that hunters could read about a cartridge, take that information into the field and be able to duplicate the results described in the knowledge base.  I am very pleased that highly experienced hunters have been able to read the knowledge base and find themselves nodding quietly, thinking back about a bullet that 'did exactly that'.

OK, for those of you wanting to know how we are progressing with the uploading of the knowledge base, the .300 Savage was uploaded today.  Tomorrow (Friday 18th Feb) I will start the arduous task of getting the .308 Winchester ready for uploading.  This is a very big article so please be patient, it will most likely take me a few days to work through it- we can't skimp on this most famous and very useful cartridge of our time!

I have now also established our online pictorial Wound data base which is something I have been wanting to do for many years. So, you now have homework to do. keep those digital camera's handy and after harvesting your game, take plenty of autopsy pics, I would be very grateful for these. More details can be found at the Wound data base main page.

Lastly, for New Zealand readers, please keep an eye out for the Feb/March issue of NZ guns and Hunting magazine.  This issue will have an article by writer Jule's O'rouke who meets a red neck (me), visits our research facility (farm) and undergoes a long range tutorial (is drilled the old fashioned way). I had a great time hunting with Jules (hope you are reading this Mr O'Rouke) with the hunt culminating in an intermediate long range yet somewhat difficult shot (very small target). One day we will have to get owner/editor Peter Maxwell down as I hear he likes his wild pork!

I will also be in Auckland in June for an evening tutorial sponsored by Reloaders Supplies. During this event (held at Reloaders Supplies), I will be speaking on the fundamentals of long range hunting, discussing both equipment and technique.  I want to emphasize something while on this topic, Long range hunting isn't just for young 'gadget' oriented shooters. Many older hunters can take full advantage of still hunting/sniping as it is a heck of a lot easier on the joints than walking up and down the hills all day. I find long range hunting is of great advantage to my clients over the age of 60 and particularly for guys in their 70's, suffice to say, this is a sport/hobby for all ages and walks of life.  So, if you are wanting to get into long range hunting, come along for an informative evening. Exact dates will be posted in due course.

Cheers,  Nathan.

Reloaders logo.jpg


TBR's Hunting cartridge knowledge base now online

Written by Nathan Foster on January 20th, 2011.      0 comments

Hello all.

Many of you will have noticed that the TBR website has undergone significant changes over the last week, the most exiting aspect being the introduction of the TBR cartridge knowledge base. We have gone through a major shift in goals and methods of delivery over the last few weeks and for those of you who are wondering why the book "Hunting cartridges of the World" has been put aside in favor of an online knowledge base, I will do my best to to describe why.

Having spent years in the research phase followed by several years writing the proposed HCOW book (my initial draft was near illiterate!), I have been steadily working through the final edit, along with the ballistics tables and cartridge drawings.  With the recession still having an effect on our non-commodity business, it was becoming too difficult to write/edit while trying to balance short term needs. 

I have been aware of Google's Adsense advertising programme for sometime and its potential as a source of income while writing.  I very much wanted to avoid this route, essentially giving away every trick in my bag for free in the hope that pay per click advertising would provide income. Nevertheless, a decision had to be made and a few weeks ago, I made the call.  We are now also providing a donations form.  If you find the information in the knowledge base useful and are in a position to donate, it would very much help us carry on and make the entire knowledge base a reality.

Some of you will also note that on the home page that we have changed the direction and delivery of the business from being a potential consultant to the big players to simply "this is who we are and what we do". We have always strived to remain transparent as a business and TBR is essentially laid bare at this point.

At the bottom of each of the cartridge texts, you will notice a 'discuss this' sentence which is hyperlinked to our new forums. When a new post is made, an email is automatically sent to my personal email address.  So, for anybody wondering whether or not I will answer or see questions via the forums, I will be receiving your posts instantly and will be able to answer them fairly quickly- unless I am away guiding!

Ok, I hope you all enjoy the knowledge base and find it helpful.  I will have the .30 calibers up online as soon as I can and then we can have a look at the medium and big bores which are a whole bunch of fun and add a completely different dimension to the research.  I know that many of you have been waiting for the release of HCOW in hard copy and are still hoping to see a hard copy, regardless of whether it is freely available online.  If all goes well, I hope to one day be able to produce a hard copy for those who prefer it.


Camo paint- The British Sniper method

Written by Nathan Foster on November 14th, 2010.      0 comments

Hi all, I have finally had a chance to give my .308 Tactical a much needed overhaul. My Sightron S111 6-24x50 finally arrived so the 4-12 Leupold with its target turrets were removed from the Practical and mounted on the .308. I gave the Sightron a good test to check that the turret calibration was true to MOA and as usual for this brand, the Sightron was right on the money.

I have had a few camo painted rifles arrive on my bench this year and to be honest, the paint on some of these rifles has caused problems where it has run into the bedding (these rifles were bedded before I received them). Paint flaking and chipping during re-bedding was also a concern. For those contemplating a camo paint job to protect blued steel (or even a precious wood stock), the British sniper method is simply awesome.  By using common wound dressing/ ligament binding cloth tape (many will be familiar with the elastoplast brand), the tape can be applied to the rifle, then painted with heavy coats of flat enamel paint.

Earlier this year, my wife did a test piece by binding my hunting knife handle in tape and painting it.  The coating was heavy but the cloth ensures the paint cannot flake.  The adhesive side of the tape offers tremendous rust protection while the paint locks the tape in place, an almost fibreglass like matrix. The knife handle stood up well to mud and blood through the winter and was relatively easy to clean. I also peeled back the tape after the trial period and the knife handle was perfectly preserved underneath.  Following this, I gave the .308 Tactical the British Sniper tape and paint treatment. The finish is great, the metal is protected and can eventually be removed by simply peeling back the tape.


The third 7mm Practical

Written by Nathan Foster on October 29th, 2010.      0 comments

Well, the third Practical has been completed for a South Island hunter. The rifle, a Sako Finnbear is set up with the 168gr VLD at 3220fps, duplicating my own rifle.




Below is the final load, the barrel now fully run in, producing outstanding accuracy...



Hello and welcome

Written by Nathan Foster on October 8th, 2010.      0 comments

Hello all and welcome to the new TBR website!  Please take your time to have a look around and enjoy the new features, especially the forums section- be sure to stop and post a hello.

I have put two new articles on the site,  The 7mm Practical is about a wildcat magnum cartridge I designed while the article Hold that forend! focuses on a subject that has been very much on my mind for some time.

I would like to send out a huge thankyou to the team at for making all of this possible, especially their innovative user CP which now allows me to update articles and content regularly- no more notepad ++ and trying to convert documents to computer language! (anyone recall manually loading the Comodore 64).

New Products - MatchGrade Bedding Products

Written by Nathan Foster on January 21st, 2009.      0 comments

logo.jpgMatchGrade Bedding Products are a new range of  products that have been specifically designed, developed and tested by Terminal Ballistics Research in conjunction with a leading New Zealand polymer resin manufacturer.

For optimum accuracy, a rifle should always be bedded at the action and beginning of the barrel. Along with bedding, the barrel should always be free floated (not touching the stock forend). Nevertheless, regardless of efforts to free float the barrel, plastic rifle stocks often suffer forend flexing. In some instances, flexing will cause direct pressure against the rifle barrel, in other cases, the stress is indirect. In either case, these stresses upset barrel harmonics with a drastically negative effect on rifle accuracy.

See the following links for more information:

New Article - What is Rifle Bedding?

Written by Nathan Foster on January 21st, 2009.      0 comments

To go with the release of our new MatchGrade Bedding Products, I have published a new article - What is Rifle Bedding?

Rifle bedding is fundamental to rifle accuracy. The term bedding refers to the fit and stability of a barreled action within the rifle stock. If the fit and stability of the metal work in relationship to the stock is poor, the rifle will be in-accurate. Bedding a rifle with a polymer resin is the optimum method of obtaining a correct fit, long term stock stability and optimum rifle accuracy.

To find out more about rifle bedding, you can read the full article here.

New Article - The Effects Of The Meplat On Terminal Ballistics

Written by Nathan Foster on October 25th, 2008.      0 comments

The word meplat is a term used in ballistics terminology that has survived from a bygone era. The word itself is a french noun which means 'the flat of' and in ballistics it refers to the tip of a projectile. Meplat is not an adjective, it does not describe the shape of the tip or diameter in any way. Our current term could easily have been 'tip' or 'point' or even 'Fred' but instead, ballistic engineers of the world use the word meplat. The French were very much at the cutting edge of ballistics during the 19th century and the word meplat has survived out of an unconcious respect for these eary pioneers. The term mostly likely stems from the days when all conical projectiles had flat points. The front was therefore called the flat and the rear dubbed the heel. Nevertheless, do not be confused, the word meplat simply means 'tip' in today's terms.

As most will guess, the shape of the meplat (tip) has a great effect on external ballistics (how the projectile flys through the air). The shape can also have an effect on terminal ballistics and performance with regard to projectile energy transfer on game, projectile expansion and stress to the projectile during this rapid change in medium.  To find out all about what sort of effect the meplat has on a projectile, you can read the full article here.


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If you find the resources on this website to be valuable, we would be sincerely grateful if you would consider making a donation to help us cover the costs of the website and to assist us to continue our research and testing into the future.  It doesn't matter whether your donation is big or small - it makes all the difference!


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.